n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Stardust-NExT mission success : mission update

Volume 70, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0024-8266



Contrary to the present day disposable era we live in, Stardust-NExT was the second time that a spacecraft had been reused for a second mission, saving as much as 90% of the cost of a new mission. The first occurrence was when the original Deep Impact craft was redeployed as the EPOXI mission as was reported in 68, 7&8, August 2009, p.129. It was this very same Deep Impact spacecraft which flew past Comet Tempel 1 on Independence Day (4 July) 2005, releasing a 370kg copper slug onto the comet's surface, taking data and pictures as if flew past, supplemented by Earth-bound observations. Due to the dust kicked up by the impactor, it was not possible to see the resultant crater, nor the effects it had on the comet surface.

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